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Working together to harmonise cattle welfare standards

  • Livestock export industry partnering with Vietnam on animal welfare.
  • Harmonising standards will reduce market access issues and strengthen standards in an important and growing market.

The Australian Government’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program is supporting efforts to harmonise animal welfare standards with Vietnam.

Meat & Livestock Australia is partnering with the Department of Animal Health, Vietnam and the Australian Livestock Export Corporation to undertake the three-year program of work.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the project was being funded, in part, by a ATMAC $135,000 grant.

“The ATMAC funded component of the project has so far included a cattle welfare workshop held in Hanoi in early November 2020 to determine what was needed to develop functional animal welfare changes in Vietnam,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The workshop was well attended by government departments, NGO organisations, universities, and commercial companies and provided stakeholders with the opportunity to discuss the regulations for exported Australian cattle and other animal welfare measures.

“Workshop participants endorsed a three-year program of work to address market access risks concerning animal welfare and traceability in cattle.

“Harmonising standards and compliance practices with Vietnam will reduce market access issues and reduce the risk to Australian live cattle trade.”

“The government of Vietnam has enlisted the support of the Australian livestock export industry to draft new animal health laws to ensure they are aligned to the international standards which have to be met for Australian cattle.

“A Vietnamese working group will be convened to draft Cattle Animal Welfare standards for transport, husbandry and slaughter for consideration and adoption by the Vietnamese National Assembly.

“The working group will also develop a research paper into the standards developed under the Livestock Global Assurance Program to understand how these could deliver equivalence with animal welfare requirements for exported Australian feeder and slaughter livestock.

“ATMAC-funded projects such as this build stronger, mutually beneficial relationships with our trading partners.

“This project is another demonstration of the Australian Government’s commitment to modernising agricultural trade and grow agricultural exports.”